GlassRoots, Inc.

Sparking Change

aka GlassRoots   |   Newark, NJ   |


GlassRoots ignites and builds the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, with a focus on underserved youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience. With the fire and danger of glassmaking to engage area youth, our students develop patience, teamwork, creative problem-solving, and the disciple and resilience they need to safely work with 2200° fire and molten glass. Young people gain hands-on experience in chemistry, physics, math and engineering. They become young entrepreneurs as they develop and market their products.

Notes from the nonprofit

Since our founding in 2001, GlassRoots' innovative programs have reached tens of thousands of youth and adults, thanks to generous support from individuals, foundations and corporations. As we expand our programs to impact more students in Newark and across the state, we need your support. Please consider GlassRoots in your philanthropic giving, shop at our gallery or take a class. For more information, go to our website at, visit us for a tour, or join us at one of our many events.

Students in GlassRoots school and workforce programs are accepted regardless of academic achievement, physical ability, artistic talent or ability to pay. GlassRoots is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ms. Carol Losos

Main address

10 Bleeker Street

Newark, NJ 07102 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GlassRoots provides youth and young adults with hot glass instruction, and business and leadership training with a focus on increasing students' academic and interpersonal success. We run programs in Newark for youth who face multiple barriers to success such as poverty, drugs, violence, gang pressures, low parental involvement, and academic vulnerability. With our highly collaborative staff and dedicated volunteers we serve over 1000 youth annually. No students are refused services based on their past behaviors, grades, physical ability, or artistic talent. Our programs are based on research-informed best practices in youth development and arts education and call to a subset of youth that are often not reached by other interventions and activities. While our organization is arts-based, our work explicitly addresses the basic needs of the youth we serve. We work intensively with students in academic crisis or in personal crisis.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Entrepreneurship Programs

GlassRoots’ academic-year-long business and entrepreneurship programs are now collectively known as YES! Youth Entrepreneurial Spirit, and are offered either during the school day in our FLAME program, or as an after-school program.

GlassRoots' YES! programs are dedicated to nurturing and guiding the entrepreneurial spirit by teaching an academic-year long course on what it takes to create and maintain a business. GlassRoots’ mission is to provide programs that inspire young people to stay in school, to find their passion, to recognize business opportunities and to plan for successful futures. Students come from various backgrounds and schools in the greater Newark area to begin their journey as an entrepreneur.

Over an academic year, participants receive approximately 30 hours of in-class instruction in basic business concepts as well as 40 hours of glassmaking instruction in GlassRoots’ three studios. There is also a service-learning component to the YES! program. Upon completion of the program, participants compete for prizes in GlassRoots' Annual Competition and Trade Fair.

To demonstrate comprehension of basic business skills students present and defend a PowerPoint presentation of their business plan to a panel of judges composed of local business, art and civic leaders.

Population(s) Served
Non-adult children

GlassRoots classes for youth in 6th through 12th grades are grounded in STEAM (STEM + Art) and enhance students’ understanding of classroom learning with real life experiences. Our wide variety of innovative programming give young people multiple opportunities to learn that through persistence and teamwork, they can create beautiful works of art, and by extension, they can create a future.

GlassRoots workforce development programs provide a path to success using glass making as a focus for job training. Rigorous scientific glass apprenticeship and craft entrepreneurship programs (with more in development) give 18-24 year-olds the skills needed to enter the working world successfully.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Economically disadvantaged people

When students come to GlassRoots for a field trip they have the opportunity to visit one, two or three studios, known as the Flame Shop, the Flat Shop or the Hot Shop, for hands-on lessons in glass-art making. All glass art projects include an introduction to and practice with glass tools, as well as lessons in basic color and design theory.

Lessons will also incorporate relevant STEAM principles (STEM + art), historical context, and multiple opportunities to practice aspects of 21st Century learning such as teambuilding, problem solving, time management and communication. Field trips are available for students grades 5 and up. Program fees are sliding scale, based on program length and ability to pay.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

GlassRoots uses molten glass to demonstrate the science and magic of a volcanic eruption! Activities will include working with fire and glass to simulate lava behavior by creating “Pele’s tears”, which will be turned into beautiful pendants you can proudly wear home. You’ll also learn about obsidian, or “volcanic glass”, which we’ll smash in order to create and observe the ripple pattern found in volcanic rocks – AND -- we’ll simulate lava flow using 2000 degree molten glass to destroy a paper village. Ages 10-18; no experience necessary.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

This is the number of participants served in FY23. When multiple visits are taken into account, the number is 7,614.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We believe that participation in glass art directly contributes to the development of youth’s intellectual and personal capacities. For students who had often been frustrated or failed in school, the experience of success in our studios impresses upon them that learning matters, and thus they become more willing to do the hard work of learning. In addition, students gain a sense that they could be agents of their own learning, and make a positive change in their own lives and in their surroundings. The inherent danger and unpredictability of glass and fire attract many urban youth who might otherwise choose risky behaviors when left unsupervised at home after school or on summer break. Our strategy is to attract and retain these students by offering the most dynamic and challenging program possible.

• 21st Century Learning. This is a leadership-based program with a rotating staff of instructors both on staff at GlassRoots and visiting business professionals. Lessons include such areas as Teamwork, Communication, Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution, Focus & Concentration, Literacy in the Workplace, Time Management, Safety & Emergencies, Personal Identity and Goal Setting.
• Glass Studio Work. Each student cycles through our three art studios, experiencing all areas of glass art: flameworking (glass beading and jewelry making), flat glasswork (mosaics, glass fusing and etching), and glassblowing.
• GlassRoots programs foster STEAM learning among urban teenage high school students to prepare them for professional competitive opportunities. In this program, equal effort is put into pursuing academic learning for enrichment and in stressing the link between employable skills and the skills developed in STEAM and other professional fields.

-Qualified, Trained Engaged Staff
-Dynamic Leadership
-Committed, Engaged Board
-Important buy-in from Newark business, art, educational, nonprofit and government.
-20-yr history of working with Newark Youth
-Partnerships with local community organizations (i.e., Newark One Stop, NJ Seeds, NPS, Ironbound Community Corporation, and more) and with institutions of higher education including Rutgers University, Newark, NJIT and Essex County College
-20 years of successful programs

We continue to work on these goals with our students:
1) increased self-actualization (being able to teach what they learned) -- come from student/parent/family and teacher
2) Increased school attendance (obtained from teacher/school)
3) Increased student engagement in school classes (obtainable from teacher & student); increased participation
3) Demonstrated passion for glass art (and/or other art forms)
4) Preparation for a successful future
5) Evidenced 21st-century skills such as problem solving, communication, mentorship, collaboration, etc.
6) Increased ability in literacy, spoken and written, particularly in public speaking
7) Plans to apply to college

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


GlassRoots, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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GlassRoots, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/23/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Roger Tucker

Tucker Contemporary Art

Term: 2019 - 2023

Mary Jaffa

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)

Dena Lowenbach

Community Volunteer

Antonio Valla

RBH Group

Sherri-Ann Butterfield

Rutgers University

Michael Handler

L + M Development

William Simpson

Equal Justice USA

Veda Truesdale

Independent Researcher

Roger Tucker

Roger Tucker Gallery

Filomena Machleder

Horizon Foundation for New Jersey

Ken Press

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/27/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/09/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.